Thank You Brody

Brody was a lifestyle

This is a guest post from my husband

“I have a dog!” I didn’t appreciate that I had rolled my eyes upon hearing this answer, as I immediately pictured the vast array of purses she must possess as carriage for her ‘mini-dog’, because she followed right up with: “no really, a real dog… he’s BIG, his name’s Brody”… and so the conversation with the beautiful blonde at the concert continued.

As Amanda and I continued dating, this fact was not lost on me and I can still vividly recall the first time I laid eyes on that magnificent mass of muscle. Not to sound cliché, but anyone who met Brody would agree he was seemingly chiseled out of a stone block without a piece of flab to be found or an inch of his frame misused.

As I stood there pondering the various ethical and moral implications of someone mating a Doberman with a Rottweiler, he wasted no time reminding me of whose house I was in, and whose girl I was there with and that she was not meant for sharing. I had decided to make quick work of our introduction and become best friends on the spot, but Brody had other plans and it became quite apparent his trust and respect was to be earned. Luckily there was footage of the encounter:

Brody and I eventually bonded over rough-housing and chasing each other around the house (not allowed), playing in parks off-lease (not allowed) eating food originally intended for humans (not allowed) and playing tug of war (also not allowed).

Brody and AdamWe excelled at getting caught and he would unknowingly toss me under the proverbial ‘bus’ as I often as I tattled on him. As many times as I shared tales of an XL size paw print on the counter, or an empty tissue box that I knew to be full the day before, he would just as swiftly snitch on me as he unwittingly exposed our secrets of food we would share against Amanda’s well-intended wishes. Whether already tucked in for the night or on the opposite end of the house he would bolt up and all 95 pounds would bound through the house en-route (often missing the turn while sliding sideways on hardwood floors) to the kitchen at the slightest hint of cheese slices being opened, a hardboiled egg being cracked or an ice cube tray coming out of the freezer, plowing over anything in his path. Our biggest bust may have been his over-exuberance when the whip cream can came out of the fridge… that would be our last day attempting that feat.

While I may have witnessed it for many years, even I cannot fully appreciate the bond those two had together, and what they each truly meant to each other. From the first day after adoption to their last days here at home Brody remained a source of joy, security, pride and a tremendous source of strength to Amanda, and for this he will never be forgotten. I cannot thank him enough for loyally standing watch over Amanda as she transitioned from a 20 year-old college kid (…with a puppy), to the intelligent and beautiful woman and loving wife we know and love today. Chili and I truly have some big paws to fill.

Brody keeps secretsBrody was everything to Amanda: most loyal companion, good listener, protector, dance partner (4-legged version), co-pilot, singing buddy (little known fun-fact: the word “Brody” is actually incorporated into the lyrics of every song written… ever), cuddle-buddy, trail-guide, shoulder to cry on, a soft pillow after a long day and a daily welcome-home party.

Often the longest part of Brody’s day was the time (what seemed like hours) it took Amanda to reach the top of the stairs after her car came to a rest in the garage signaling her arrival home. I was almost always third in line to get my welcome-home kiss, which was fine as I was usually crowded out of the dog’s waiting spot at the top of the stairs… their tails/nubs wagging wildly.

Having been a dog owner for close to 20 years, I naively thought I could appropriately anticipate life with Brody; after all he is just a dog. Wrong. Brody was anything but your typical dog and the easiest way I can explain living with Brody, was that ‘Brody’ was a lifestyle. His hulk and bulk were hard to ignore but it was the little things we loved about the guy. He would often grunt and growl and play games with himself that we still aren’t sure if he knew he was playing alone? He would spin wildly in place and plop his front paws down like the puppy he was, always with a smile and a wiggle of the nub. Brody’s character permeated everything he did, and it was this goofball character that made his transition to a tripawd so easy for both himself and his mother.

In the coming weeks we will be tasked with deciding Brody’s final resting place. One would assume we would choose his favorite spot, but he has so many to choose from as he truly loved everything and everywhere. Running in the waves along the sands of Ferry Beach (favorite), chasing turkeys and squirrels at my parents’ house (favorite), swimming for tennis balls while swimming upright like a seahorse at Little Sebago (favorite), or bounding over bridges and tree roots while giving chase to Chili through the Fore River Sanctuary (also favorite).

Brody on the boatIf we asked him, I think Brody may have settled on the same answer his mother would: Peaks Island. With as big of a smile a dog could muster, the pair would always enjoy a crossing on the bow of the ferry, with that massive head poking out through the gate, doing his best to consume all of the salt air and scenery he could. I already miss these trips. He truly loved each lap of that island (especially with Stan in Trees – the truck), each trip to Centennial beach and each stay with his loving grandparents who I know are sharing this aching with us.

Amanda is in pain right now; there is a hole in her heart I cannot fill right now and a hurt I can only hope will soften with time… as the only one who could make it all better is now gone.

Thank you Brody for a lifetime of memories.

Brody Burrito

23 Replies to “Thank You Brody”

  1. Adam, you are truly one of the most amazing people that I know… and such a perfect compliment to Amanda. This post is a beautifully written account of Brody, and a clear, supportive, understanding vision of Amanda, as only you could write. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love you guys.

  2. Adam, thank you so much for this, for being such an solid partner for Manders, and for capturing the bond between the two of them so perfectly — not to mention Brody’s singularly dynamic dognality. I can only imagine what she’s going through right now, but it’s comforting knowing she has such an absolutely amazing husband at her side. As the other 20 year old with a dog in that apartment, you summed it up: Brody WAS a lifestyle, and he will never, ever, ever be forgotten. Thanks for making me laugh and cry and laugh again today. If you guys do end up having a funeral for the big galoot, please let us know – we’ll drive up in a heartbeat. Thinking of you guys constantly this week and sending all our love & hugs. xoxo Melissa (and Andrew and Dante)

  3. What an incredible post Adam. And what a great husband and partner you are. Amanda deserves no less.

    I know that this is an incredibly difficult and sad time for Amanda (and for you). I am without words, but please just know that I am thinking of both of you. The loss of a beloved pet is like losing a member of the family.

    And I should mention, if the whole M.D. thing doesn’t work out for you I think there is a career opportunity waiting for you as a writer.

    Huge love to you both. rg

  4. I”m so sorry. This post is so wonderful and I felt (and still feel) the same about my boy, Toast, who passed away a year and a 1/2 ago. He was everything to me that Brody is to you and always will be. I am tearing up just thinking about my Toasty and how much he is missed. There is no replacement still for him and I have a hole in my heart I hope someday to fill. I am sending my thoughts to you b/c I know exactly how you are feeling. I’m not gonna lie, it won’t end anytime soon, but sometimes it’s okay to have these feelings hang with us- it’s keeps us human and humane.
    Huge hugs. xoxo

    1. Thank you Chantal. I know it won’t really ever go away. Getting ice is so boring now. Brody always loved ice and would get a cube when you were at the freezer. Not sure I will ever be able to put ice in my drink and not think of my big goofball. Thanks for your nice thoughts and comments.

  5. Wow, this was an amazing account of the powerful bond between a person and her beloved family member. Thank you Adam for sharing. I too would like to send along my deepest sympathy to you all.

  6. I just came across this post and it completely choked me up. My baby is just about to turn 5, and our other one is 4 1/2. We got them both as puppies. One at 7 weeks (met her at 4 weeks) and one at 6 months, after losing the senior we had. Total heartbreak. I can’t think about, or discuss, what will happen when our two girls so close in age get older. Winnie (the almost 5 year old) is a light colored lab, but we’ve noticed how much lighter her face has become over the last few months. I finally had to acknowledge it. I have to admit, though it’s stressful having your job phased out I’m secretly somewhat a little happy that starting this week I get to spend every waking moment with the girls. I’m hoping I’ll have a job again soon, but until then there will be lots of ball. Lots of trips to the water. Lots of hiking, and lots of cuddling. I’ll give them some extra cuddles for your puppy too. Also, I’ve heard about Otto at the SMBME…I hope he has helped lift your spirits. No dog will ever be the same, but I hope you have found yourself laughing and loving him.

    1. Thanks again Heather. Enjoy any and all time you have with the pups. You will never regret that time you spent with them.

      Otto is wonderful. He has his fair share of Brody-isms and we love that. There is no replacing a dog but Otto has been a lot of fun that was much needed in our house.

      Enjoy your time with your pups!

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